With all the check boxes ticked and three years of sweat and very hard work and a solid performance at the 2nd OG Qualifying Event held last week in Turkey, South African Wrestling Federation’s number one referee, secured his ticket to Rio 2016 last night, when United World Wrestling published their final list of Referees to participate at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio.
With the number of referees having been reduced from 80 at the London 2012 Olympics to 50 for Rio 2016, United World Wrestling claim the cutbacks have developed a greater accountability among their officials, with only the very best of the best making the final cut.
Charles will be the only referee from Africa representing the continent on the mat in Rio. With fellow Africans Noreddinne Mochaffa (MAR) and Kamel Bouaziz (TUN) making the cut for as Supervisor and Instructor respectively.
To make the cut Charles had to referee at a series of high level UWW competitions including the Senior World Championships in Las Vegas last year, the continental championships in Egypt earlier this year and finally the 2nd Qualification Tournament in Turkey. It was extremely competitive and referees needed to show that they could perform under pressure.
Leading up to his inclusion in the elite group of referees, Charles was appointed by United World Wrestling as Neutral Referee at the 2014 World Beach Wrestling and was then appointed as the Neutral Referee at the 2015 All African Games in Congo and the 2015 Mostafa Championships in Egypt.
The South African Wrestling Federation is extremely proud of Charles’ achievement and we are fortunate to have one of the top referees leading our local team. We wish him well on his upcoming Olympic Referee’s course in Turkey as well as his participation on the greatest sports stage.
We salute you Mr Villet!